The Rarest Books in Canada

Finally made it inside. It’s been on my list every year during ‘Doors Open Toronto’, and 4 years later, tada!

It’s the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, inside the University of Toronto.

6 floors housing 700,000 books and 3,000 metres of manuscripts. It’s the largest collection of rare books and manuscripts in Canada.

Some of their best books:

  • Darwin’s proof copy of ‘On the Origin of Spiecies’
  • Egyptian manuscript fragments
  • An original copy of Shakespeare’s ‘First Folio‘ (one book containing all his plays)

How it works:

You tell them what you’d like to read, and they retrieve it for you (only librarians go into the shelves, the “stacks”).

You’ll meet up in the ‘Reading Room’, and be under constant supervision.

I asked them: do I wear gloves when handling the books?

Nope, and I quote, “We are a library, not a museum”. I like that.

I worked in a library for years. I had the dewey decimal system memorized to 5 places. 

I have a Books category here on KeriBlog.

Here’s the best part: people like us, normal public non-university people, can come and read the books.

Website: Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
Twitter: @Fisher_Library
Address: 120 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A5
Hours: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Here’s their catalogue.



It’s Doors Open TO This Weekend

Doors Open Toronto: Each year on this weekend over 100+ places open their doors to the public.  It’s a great way to easily gain access to restricted places and areas.

I go every year.


The HC Harris Water Treatment Plant

This place washes HALF of Toronto’s water daily. And looks exactly like the video game Myst. One of my favourite places in Toronto.

Girl in a Masonic Lodge – VERY Rare


The original Toronto Stock Exchange – one of Canada’s premiere Art Deco buildings, and home to our very first fluorescent light.

(aside – such a grainy photo on the left. I used to blog using my Razr, ha).


The HMCS York Naval Reserve

Ryan and I went for exploring for

‘Canadian Explorer’ Episode #25/80: Operation Doors Open.

Ryan filmed too, here’s his version of the days events.


Canada’s Largest Military Library

It’s North America’s largest military library, and has since been demolished. They’re re-building it and assured me at the time the library would be saved and re-constructed.

This year I have only one item on my listThe Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.  They have a tablet from 1800 BC!

I try to make it every year to this library, and I best leave right now because they’re closed tomorrow, and I have 90 minutes from now to keep this dream alive.





The Pepsi Taste Challenge is Back

This is Pinewood: Canada’s largest movie studio.  

I’ve always wanted to go, ever since Canadian Explorer days, click here and here.

For the first time since 2004, the Pepsi Taste Challenge is back this summer.

It started over the long weekend and continues until Labour Day. Here’s their Facebook page and here’s their Twitter to find out when they’ll be in your city.

You want to go, because not only will you meet “Poptimus Prime”…

… but you’ll get to interact with a Microsoft Surface!

See how the table knew my name and where I was standing, all from that paper business card? So slick. Pretty sure they’re doing it with RFIDs (that’s a whole topic for Smarten Up, Internet).

(sidenote: I used my first Surface at the Olympics two years ago, click here and fast forward to 0:24)

Pepsi has been doing Taste Challenges since 1976, and they’ve found Canadians prefer the taste of Pepsi.  This Canadian does.




CONTACT – the World’s Largest Photography Event

Chalk up another ‘world’s biggest and best’ to Canada! 

Last night I attended the VIP kickoff party for the 16th annual CONTACT Photography Event at  MOCCA – the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.

It’s brought to you by Scotiabank (who support the arts more than any other Canadian bank, neat eh).

You know when you’re cruising around Toronto and woah,

where’d that giant photo plastered on a

concrete pillar holding up the highway come from?


1000 artists, 200 venues, and an audience of 1.8 million

My favourite.

I like their blurred out faces.

The resolution is ridiculous on these prints in real life.

Look for CONTACT stuff around town all May.

Remember to look up. No one ever looks up.


Meet DigiSo, West Virginia’s First Co-Working Digital Studio

DigiSo is the result of collaborative brainstorming by the West Virginia State University Economic Development Center (EDC), Create West Virginia, and more than a dozen working professionals in media design, production and Internet technologies.

Cool, eh?!  You can meet here, rent out brand-new equipment, and find like-minded people to trade tips and swap ideas.

Hey Toronto pals – remember two years ago when social media really took off and everything changed?  They’re on the cusp of that (Charleston is the largest city in the state).

Thanks to these guys for making this happen!

And special thanks to Sarah ;)

The DigiSo space will offer drop-in work stations, and editing suite, voice studio, secure access and storage, all basic production equipment creates need, and meeting space ideal for large and intimate groups.

My second favourite room.

My first favourite room – the green screen studio.

Here we are inside, getting our group ‘Anchor’ shot.

Here’s how you know this place is class… see the arrow?

They thought to install coat hooks in the bathrooms.  Success is in the details.

Last minute presentation preparation.


This was right after the opening, the Charleston chapter of Ignite – a worldwide speaking group, tagline, “Enlighten Us, But Make it Quick”.  You get 20 slides and 5 minutes.  Here’s me prepping for it.

Click here: It’s a beautiful site.

Here’s the direct link to my page.

I spoke about how to build your brand online, and why having a blog is good for a human.

Oh, remember when I referenced I’d also built a green screen studio?

Here’s that video.

I’m an “Anchor” here.

What I’d like to share with you: what I’ve learned about blogging, social media, living online, and managing a brand online, all to help you find, or create, a job in this brand new industry.

I’d like to spend an afternoon together, help you create and build your online identity.  Show you how to manage it.  Make it so when I say, “I’m about to SEO the crap out of this post”, you’ll know what I mean.

Thanks for a great time, I’m pumped to be a part of DigiSo!  

And a huge congratulations guys,

your hard work paid off beautifully. 


PS – Yup, that was my big mouth on the invitation ;) (it’s from my airport post)